...It's actually more like split analysis given my lack of a powermeter, or even cat-eye on the bike. I do have a Garmin but the lovely gadget failed to read the HR monitor so it only provided me with a map and speed in mph to go with the bike & run sections of the course. Hence the delay in posting any sort of race report- had to wait until splits were up online today.
I am really happy about this weekend's performance/outcome. Surprisingly, I've been asked by several friends/acquaintances if I was satisfied or not, which I have to laugh at because I don't know whether to find that flattering or insulting. It's ironic, since after Kona last year, which for me was my worst IM time and a terrible race mentally, physically, and results wise, I got nothing but "congrats!". Sunday, I felt strong the whole day, placed 10th in quite a solid elite field, and got my second best half IM time on what is hands down the toughest half IM (or pretty much any distance) course I've done. Even more exciting is the promising fact that I still have 8wks to go before my first planned peak/ "A" race of the year: the Hawaii 70.3 June 5th.
Experience has taught me that in 8wks time you can go from decently fit to Ironman RACE (not just completion) ready. Thus, I am beyond confident, barring any injury or major illness, that this time period is more than sufficient to take the fitness I have now and add quite a significant amount more (speed & endurance combined) and get the top 5 OA result I want. Paul has proven to be the best coach I've worked with. He thoroughly understands my imminent goals, the stage of my life that I'm in relative to where I want to be in 5 & even 10yrs time, and the best way to bring out my potential.
After talking to him yesterday, it looks like I'll be adding the Irongirl 10k at the start of May and the Encinitas Sprint mid-May as tune ups for Honu. I love racing and these two events seem like the perfect combo.
Anyway, back to Super Frog and how the day panned out (in short)...
As far as expectations go, I had just one: to test my fitness and go as hard as I could within each present moment. In other words, take the swim as a swim, the bike as a bike, and the run as a run- no thoughts of the latter leg of the race- just focus on each individual sport and maximize my effort.
Racing this half was the best decision I could have made to start out the season- 2miles into the run I thought "simply finishing this race will make me stronger, let alone finish it with a steady hard effort".
The swim went AWESOME! I have been putting in a lot of pool time so to have it pay off is an incredible feeling. The surf was BIG and we had two loops with about a 100m stretch of beach run between each and in the second dive in all I could do was look at the waves and think "ready? under! ready? under!".....and I am thrilled to announce that I made it out without any washing machine effects and pretty much right in the front group (minus Hillary B. who was in a one-man lead group of her own...actually Caroline was right with her I believe- go C!!). It also helped tremendously to be sporting the new ZOOT Zenith wetsuit which is by far the best suit I've ever worn- perfect arm/shoulder movement, excellent bouyancy, easy to take off...just perfect. Thanks Sonja!
Onto the bike- eh, not much excitement here, flat windy with increasing headwind one way after each of the 4 loops that I'm sure trumped the tail wind benefits we got going the other direction.
Run- sand, sand, sand...did I mention sand? & yes, it was soft too :) I think only a little more than 1/4 of the run was on pavement. It took me 30min to get my run legs. As usual, I really had to pee after the bike but saw no porta-potties in transition so I resorted to a sand dune somewhere before mile 2. I should have waited another mile because there they were by an aid station, and had I done that, I wouldn't have deviated up the beach away from the run course. Must learn to pee while running!
I was off the bike in 9th, I think, and had Miranda Alldritt right in front of me the whole run. At the start of the second loop I was about 20meters behind her about to catch her and she suddenly picked it up, I tried to respond but that was my cap, so never did get her. Roughly 12ish miles in, some other girl came flying by and gapped me leaving me in 10th. It was great to realize I had no extra gear to go with her because that meant my job was done and I had given my best effort for the day.
Now the analysis of this race as it pertains to Honu goes like this (& yes I do realize there are many external factors that can alter my predictions):
- I'm swimmng better than ever. Did 34somtn here, and have done 30-31 in Honu the two times I've race so that'll transfer to a 29ish this yr in Hawaii as that swim course is a piece of cake in comparison (no surf, crystal clear, one loop, mass start thus more draft opportunities....this race spread out due to the surf/waves/loops so I was alone for 90% of the swim)
- Biked a 2:35 here...I do better on hilly/rolling courses as I'm small so get more climbing benefit than any sort of power on a flat quad crushing course. It was windier at this race than Hawaii the two years I've race the half. June seems to be less windy than October. That could change this time around, but whatever. I don't expect a sub 2:30 in Honu, but the same 2:35 is reasonable. Not to mention (per my scale reading this morning) I have 8lbs to shed which will not be that difficult at all so I'll climb even better than now and that'll also help my run.
- Run....ahhhh the run. I'm looking forward to actually RUNNING this year. Last year sucked!!!!!! I will have no knee brace, I will have run in the month leading in, I will be fit and at race weight. The goal is to run 1:30-1:35. This course is pretty tough as it winds a lot through the resort/golf course and has some grassy area. However, there is no sand, and it's hot n' humid :) 3 years ago, in 2007, it was my first Half IM and I ran a 1:43, I am a lot fitter and more experienced now, and pulled out a 1:45 this Sunday on what I've established is a much slower run course.
So those are my goals/ predictions. 8wks to go, and back to work at the end of this week after some quality recovery days. I'm feeling surprisingly good post race. No soreness or stiffness, and lots of napping has resulted in full energy.
As always, thanks to my sponsors...the Newton "All Weather" trainers prevented any sand from getting in my shoes, CEEPO for my comfy rad ride, PowerBar for the best gels on the planet (I didn't need one salt tablet, and had great energy the whole day), & Nytro for providing me with top of the line race wheels and keeping my bike mechanically sound!
On a completely different note, but still triathlon related (duh!), the BEST OF LUCK goes out to my little brother, Daniel, this Friday as he races the YOG qualifier in Monterrey, Mexico. The top male from the U.S. will be headed to the Inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore this August. He had a fabulous cross country season last fall, some good swim training winter break, and though he came down with an eye infection and flu a cpls wks ago, managed to bank some quality trainer sessions, a couple swim meets, and good track workouts in the months prior. You can do it buddy!! :D